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PRESS STATEMENT: ARHP Welcomes FDA Approval of Plan B; Expresses Continued Concern with Age Restriction



Dr. Beth Jordan, Medical Director
Wayne C. Shields, President and CEO
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)


For Immediate Release
August 24,  2006

Contact:
Ann McCall
(202) 466-3825
communications@arhp.org

Washington, DC — August 24, 2006—Beth Jordan, MD, medical director of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and Wayne Shields, ARHP president and CEO, released the following statement in response to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the emergency contraceptive product, Plan B ® for over-the-counter access to women 18 and older.

“ARHP members, board, and staff welcome the FDA’s recognition of the overwhelming scientific evidence and approval of Plan B for over-the-counter use. Plan B gives women a second chance to prevent unintended pregnancy and it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. Over-the-counter sales have the potential to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion by allowing women timely access to this important drug.

While this is a step in the right direction, we are deeply concerned about the FDA’s decision to refuse over-the-counter access to women younger than 18. Plan B is safe, effective, and appropriate for over-the-counter use by women of all ages. There is no scientific evidence that warrants age restrictions for access to this drug. Studies show that increased access to emergency contraception does not cause teens to engage in risky sexual behavior. This age restriction demonstrates that politics and ideology continue to interfere with evidence-based science at the FDA, particularly on issues related to reproductive health.

ARHP encourages the FDA to rely on evidence-based science—not politics—when making decisions that affect the health and well-being of millions of American women. Timely access to all women of reproductive age who might benefit is vital and ARHP is committed to ensuring that as many women as possible have access to Plan B.”



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The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the leading source for trusted medical education and information on reproductive and sexual health. ARHP educates health care providers, informs consumers, and helps shape public policy. ARHP is a non-profit membership association composed of highly qualified and committed experts in reproductive health. ARHP members are health professionals in clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy and they include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, researchers, educators, pharmacists, and other professionals in reproductive health. To learn more, visit: http://www.arhp.org.